Tech Industry

Firm claims Y2K can still bite Macs

A small Canadian company claims that unwitting software programmers can expose the Mac to the Y2K bug.

A small Canadian company claims the Mac isn't immune to the year 2000 problem, after all.

Apple Computer has recently taken to touting its Y2K readiness, using HAL, the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey, in commercials to announce that the Macintosh is free from the Y2K bug.

A Canadian software company called Pedagoguery Software--which makes a program that checks software for Y2K bugs--is warning users against complacency, though. The company is claiming that a programming routine in the Macintosh operating system, if improperly used by an application, would result in improper date readings.

However, the company deflates the seriousness of the matter by noting that "current documentation does explain the routine's shortcomings," meaning that most programmers should have information about the matter and have workarounds already in place.

Pedagoguery's issue seems to be that since Apple has neither fixed the routine nor widely notified developers of the matter, that users should buy its software to check on what programs might have problems with dates beyond the year 2000.

An Apple spokesperson said the company has been careful to point out that Macs can handle the transition from 1999 to 2000 and beyond, but that not every application developer may have followed guidelines for dealing with dates properly.

Apple's Web site says Macintosh computers can handle internally generated dates correctly all the way to the year 29,940 as long as the software running on them manages dates correctly as well.